For the 4 years when I was working on my Doctoral thesis, I performed a number of tutoring duties that were part of my obligations as a PhD student. I did group tutorials for approximately four hours a week over the course of four years where I taught a number of modules in Maths and Physics including: Vector calculus, complex analysis, statistical physics, probability theory and general relativity. Less frequently I taught smaller groups of students (1-4) topics of their choosing and aided them with their problem sets and homework. During exam time I took part in revision classes where I provided assistance for students preparing for exams and during the exam time I worked as an invigilator. I also marked homework for the undergraduate students during this time. Conservatively, I estimate the number of hours I worked at the university from just the compulsory tutoring classes to be around 300 hours and significantly higher if we include the small study groups, exam preparation classes, homework marking and exam invigilation.
Outside of the university, I have done additional work for a number of other private tuition agencies. During this period of work I tutored a number of students successfully from KS3 to A-levels in various scientific subjects. Most noticeably, I managed to get a student in Mechanics who was previously ranked as a U up to a B grade in just over a month. From this work, I gained a substantial amount of knowledge about the content of every single exam board: AQA, OCR, Edexcel etc.
Whilst doing my undergraduate, I did a large amount of work in Outreach and Public engagement. The goal of this job was to try to get pre-University students to study Physics at university. To that end myself and the rest of the SEPnet team organized and took part in a number of projects and demonstrations. Some of these projects included: carrying out a series of scientific experiments at a school and then explaining them to the students, an open day event at the university where several different stands were set up with pieces of equipment that needed to be explained by the members of the SEPnet team, interactive quizzes, science festivals, mentoring a group of A-level students who came into the university for a week to work on a project where they needed to give a presentation at the end of the week. As part of my training to be an SEPnet officer I took a lot of courses on communication skills and empirical methods on teaching and learning i.e. what makes a person actually learn better.
Finally, I had another job at the university where I worked for the Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) whose main role was to provide educational assistance to disabled students. Whilst working for the DDS I was tasked with creating revision material for visually impaired students, acting as a 1-on-1 tutor for dyslexic students, providing assistance to people whose motion with motion disabilities and acting as a scribe for those who had difficultly writing.
Subjects I teach
Physics GCSE, A-level, Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Maths KS3, KS4, GCSE, A-Level and Undergraduate
Chemistry GCSE and A-Level
Science KS3 and KS4
PhD Mathematical Physics, Queen Mary and Westfield College
MSci Physics, Upper Second Class Honours, University of London
BSc Physics, Queen Mary and Westfield College, First Class Honours
My Passion And How I Inspire
When it comes to my style of tutoring I am a big advocate of the KISS principle which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Learning any scientific subject has a reputation for being extremely difficult, so then one needs to ask the question “Why make things more difficult than necessary?” To that end I try to make things as easy as possible for whoever it is I am teaching. We start off very simple but gradually increase in complexity until we get the desired result. The main reason why I firmly believe in this principle is that I remember how hard it was for me to learn and quite often I always found out that there was a better way of doing things.
For the actual lesson I have a very specific pattern. We start off with the “why” as in why do need this particular thing that we are currently learning, “what” as in exactly what it is that we are doing and “how”, namely how what is we are learning can solve the problem that we have. For the “how” part of the lesson most of what I teach is based not based on what I learnt in a classroom, it is based on methods that I learned when I worked in Outreach, i.e. how to keep someone’s interest and what has been shown to actually work in teaching. Some of the these methods include: use of mnemonics, use of revision cards, focusing on the more fascinating aspects of a topic, encouraging the student to participate in thought experiments among other things.
I play guitar and have an encyclopedic knowledge of guitar based music from the years 1962-1994.